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Opinion

LINC connects us in ways we have never experienced before


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Mar. 16, 2021 - 5:37 PM

The LINC is, still and always, open for business.

Here in Newnan and Coweta, we are more fortunate than most, as we have enjoyed this outdoor recreation venue throughout the pandemic.

The LINC is a 12-foot-wide, paved, multi-use path intended for non-motorized use. Like most greenway corridors, it winds through greenspace and commercial areas alike, connecting recreation, business, cultural and community venues.

In early 2021, Friends of LINC and the City of Newnan announced that the long-awaited LINC bridge over Interstate 85 is open. This landmark addition seems as though it connects the two hemispheres of our community.

On the east side of the bridge is Promenade at Newnan Crossing, and on the west side, Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The 180-foot bridge span was placed overnight in October. The last of the safety fencing was installed last month, and signage and landscaping complete the picture. “LINC green” paint on the crosswalks indicates you’re on the path.

Completion of the bridge means that for the first time, Summergrove and other east side residents can reach Ashley Park for shopping, dining or movies, without having to get in their cars. The bridge section adds about one mile, for a current total of 2.4 miles of LINC trail completed.

“Not only is the LINC bridge a momentous structure that will be seen by thousands of people every day, it is incredible in design, shape and color, with a distinctive Newnan flair,” explains Kim Learnard, Director of Friends of LINC. The bridge features the Newnan name on both sides. The city name is backlit, making it a truly impressive sight when driving on the Interstate below at night.

What’s next? The next section to be built will be the downtown section, starting at the old railroad depot and working its way back to Greison Trail. The contract was awarded in late 2020, and completion is expected in early 2022. Ultimately, the LINC will total 4.8 miles of path.

Friends of LINC, Inc. is the nonprofit that supports the LINC with amenities, promotions and events. “It seems the entire community wants to get involved,” observes Director Learnard. Private donations have allowed Friends of LINC to add two pocket parks with benches and pet stations. Corporate Sponsorships are available at a variety of levels. Corporate Sponsorships advance shared goals of community development, environmental sustainability and public health.

Friends of LINC also welcomes community partners who wish to enhance the trail by sponsoring a pavilion, fitness station, pocket park, hammock hangout or other permanent park amenity, in exchange for naming rights. Thanks to a generous private donation, the LINC will soon feature a significant installation of public art.

In celebration of another exciting year, Friends of LINC will host the third annual Ready, Set, LINC. block party event April 24, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free and open to the public, this outdoor event will be held at the Newnan Centre, 1515 Lower Fayetteville Road, in Newnan. Featuring a DJ, food trucks, e-bike demonstrations, vendor exhibits, a rock-climbing wall, touch-a-truck with Newnan PD and FD, a one-mile Fun Run and much more. Mark your calendars and plan to attend.

Maps, events, parking information, and partnership and sponsorship opportunities are listed on the Friends of LINC website, www.friendsoflinc.org .

The LINC is a safe place to exercise, play and relax, even during uncertain times. It allows us to travel through our community without fear of traffic dangers. It connects us in ways we have never experienced before. Happy trails.

Kim Learnard, Director

Friends of LINC, Inc.